The first Tuesday in November might seem like a long way away at the moment but the Melbourne Cup tour has kicked off today when it was unveiled in Melbourne.
The cup itself is a direct replica of the trophy given away last year, however it’s worth a fair bit more in actual value.
Economic problems throughout Europe in key economies such as Portugal, Italy, Greece and Spain means that investors have massively increased the price of gold.
It means that the 2011 Melbourne Cup even before sentimental or historical value has an actual worth of around $175,000.
That’s the highest a cup has been valued in history and as a result there will be a very close eye kept on the trophy as it makes its way around Australia and New Zealand.
The first stop is Darwin, a destination that’s been given special attention due to the locals love for the odd beer and a big party.
“There is always security around the Cup wherever it goes,” said Victoria Racing Club chairman Michel Burn.
“This year we might have to step it up.”
The Melbourne Cup tour is of growing interest right around the country and in 2011 interest has also reached record levels.
Now in its 9th year there have been so many communities looking for a piece of the action that there’s now an application process to determine the most deserving.
This year 30 stops have been locked in throughout every Australian state as well as some special New Zealand picks.
Wellington will be one of them as a reflection of 1954 champion and 1955 runner up Rising Fast.
It will also move on to Hawera where 1983 champion Kiwi resided.
The Tasmanian leg will include the small city of Deloraine, the birthplace of 1884 winner Malua.
The Parisian, winner of the 1911 Melbourne Cup will also be acknowledge in Mt Gambier.
The itinerary this year has paid special attention to communities in need, specifically those affected by the recent natural disasters.
“This year we felt it was important to visit areas affected by natural disasters, assisting them to rebuild community spirit in a united celebration of the Melbourne Cup, an event which has shaped the sporting, social and cultural fabric of Australia,” Burn said.
In the last eight years there have been 180 cities and towns visited on a combined tour length of over 225,000 kilometres.
The trophy makes up just a small part of the gigantic 2011 Melbourne Cup winners package which includes $6 million in cash, more than half of which goes directly to the owners.